Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Story Flow

Here are more stories of interest


No wonder the head Wilde-man at the University of Windsor took little action on Frat parties. I wonder if he is crying in his beer after the latest Macleans rankings.
Heck, if it works for the University, Edgar (aka Eddie) should try it

    The President of the University of Windsor Student Alliance is questioning a new staff entertainment policy approved by the School's board of governors. The policy states that alcohol may be purchased while entertaining people like donors, guests and volunteers. Mohsin Khan says some students won't like seeing their tuition spent on booze for others. Board Chair Dave Cook says alcohol is just part of promoting and selling the school."

Now about those massage parlours and the photographs...


Oh how nasty people are east of us on the 401. Take a look at this story that should make it impossible for anyone to want to move or invest here in the foreseeable future.

Yup, Highway 401 stops west of London now. No wonder there is no need for Service Centres until next summer:

And just wait until the Arbitrator nails Windsor in the firefighters' case considering what is happening in London

  • "City firefighters add year to pact
    Pay rises now match those for London police

    London firefighters have agreed to extend a just-signed contract for another year.

    Originally a two-year pact, which was retroactive to 2008, it'll now also cover 2010, giving firefighters the same pay increase city police are due to get next year...

    News of the deal's extension comes just as Windsor is reportedly set to lay off firefighters as city officials there mull a slew of significant spending cuts. Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis told reporters late last week 12 positions at the fire department, including five firefighters and four captains, are being cut.

    While the London union is aware of what's happening 200 kilometres down Hwy. 401, Holmes says he doesn't expect the city to ever take such a step.

    "It's happened in a lot of American cities that are going through an incredible budget crunch, but Windsor is quite the exception" in Canada, Holmes [president of the firefighters union] said. "As bad as things are here in London, they're way, way worse . . . there."


From an OTA Press Release. Sean O'Dell better not see this:

  • "David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance continues to tell North American trade groups that the continued decline in cross-border truck movements is “masking” problems at the border and imposing significant costs on the North American supply chain.

    This past week Bradley was part of a panel at the Border Trade Alliance conference in Buffalo, NY and keynote speaker at the Ports-to-Plains/Texas DOT conference in Lubbock, TX.

    Bradley told both groups that as of August, on a year-to-date basis, the number of trucks crossing the ON-US border were down 18% and are now at their lowest level since 1996. “After 6 straight years of growth between 1995-2001 when the numbers of trucks crossing the border jumped 38%, by the end of 2009, the number of trucks crossing the border will have dropped 5 years in a row and will be 22% of their 2000 peak,” he said.

    “So when people ask me why we are not seeing the same sort of border delays that we say earlier this decade, I tell them its because the trade is down. I also tell them its because the border has thickened and that this leaves the North American supply chain in a vulnerable and uncompetitive situation.”

    Bradley outlined what he said are some modest, but meaningful measures to restore a risk assessment approach to border inspections and to increase the return on investment for participating in low risk programs such as FAST/C-TPAT including an end to the need for truck drivers to carry multiple cards, reciprocal recognition of Canadian and US programs (e.g., ACE/ACI, C-TPAT/PIP, FAST), the introduction of a system of natural justice and progressive discipline for C-TPAT, and allowing low risk carriers to make in-transit moves.”

Interesting, nothing about building a DRIC Bridge. At a cost of billions, it is certainly not modest and without any traffic, it is certinly not meaningful.

And then in another speech dealing with Governmental unreality, nothing about the need for a DRIC bridge again:

  • "CTA's Bradley calls for border improvements at business forum

    MONTREAL, Que. -- Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley says "modest yet meaningful measures" need to be taken in order to win back productivity and efficiency at the Canada-US border and take full advantage of the economic recovery...

    With regard to the border, Bradley said that governments on both sides of the border are calling for a new border framework.

    "They are urging us to develop the next great idea, to think outside the box," he said. "That is fine, but most of us are living in the day, trying to survive not only the challenge to improve security, but also to keep our companies whole, to serve our customers and to operate in a safe and environmentally-friendly way."

Yup, why spend taxpayer billions when traffic is dying when the Bridge Company is prepared to use their money and take the risk.


How were they short-listed? What were the criteria used?

One of their companies had trouble with BC's Port Mann bridge project and had to back out. Now this:

  • "Recession may complicate funding of tunnel project

  • For years, Australia's biggest investment bank has been raising billions for airports, tunnels and toll roads throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

    Now the Sydney-based bank Macquarie Group Ltd. is seeking to help finance construction of a new Midtown Tunnel, upgrade the Downtown Tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth and extend the Martin Luther King Freeway.

    Macquarie and its construction-company partner Skanska formed a joint venture called Elizabeth River Crossings, which is negotiating with the Virginia Department of Transportation to finance, build and operate the $1.5 billion project. An interim agreement with VDOT is scheduled to be in place next month.

    In presentations to government officials and an independent review panel, Elizabeth River Crossings called attention to Macquarie's success at raising more than $8 billion in recent years for toll-road projects in the United States.

    But financial markets have been jolted during the past year by heavy losses and investors' aversion to risk. That's likely to make the job of raising money for the tunnel-and-expressway project more complicated.

    "The folks providing debt are being far more cautious," said Michael Garvin, a civil engineer and associate professor at Virginia Tech who has studied construction projects by public-private partnerships. Lining up financial commitments "is going to be a challenge for at least a couple of more years."

    The schedule for the tunnel-and-expressway project calls for Elizabeth River Crossings to have a comprehensive agreement with VDOT by early 2011 and to close on financing that spring.

    In an evaluation of the Skanska-Macquarie proposal, VDOT determined earlier this year that the two companies are financially qualified and capable of lining up the money to build and maintain the project. But because of uncertainty in financial markets, the report said, "Macquarie's ability and willingness to provide a significant direct investment in the project should be monitored," said the report, issued May 13.

    Macquarie, it noted, was initially engaged as a partner in two recent toll-road projects - one in Florida and another in British Columbia - but later withdrew.

    "Overall, it is a strong company," said Deborah Brown, VDOT's innovative finance officer and co-author of the report with the department's chief financial officer. Given the environment for financing these types of projects, "we still felt it was wise to continue to monitor their condition."

    Paula Chirhart, a Macquarie spokeswoman, noted that the company continued to serve as financial adviser for the Florida and British Columbia projects and remains active in financing infrastructure projects.

    "The partners in Elizabeth River Crossings are absolutely committed" to the one proposed for Norfolk and Portsmouth, Chirhart said.

The Councillor has to be furious.

After all of her efforts at the Queen's Garden Party in Windsor, England during the CUPE strike

  • "Queen gets invite to Windsor

    When Jo-Anne Gignac went to England last Tuesday, she did more than just take in the sights. She invited the Queen to Windsor.

    Wearing a large bronze hat and a linen cropped jacket, Windsor's Ward 5 councillor joined about 8,500 guests at the Queen's summer garden party at Buckingham Palace...

    Gignac is excited about the invitation.

    "I know the people of Windsor will be thrilled," she said."

I am sure that she expected the Queen to come to Windsor when she visits Canada even though her son did not. And then Anne Jarvis had to write this:

  • "Windsor's Anne Jarvis: Canada has outgrown monarchy

    Long live the Queen, but when she dies, Canada doesn't need another monarch...

    But I, like many in my generation, don't see the point of Canada's constitutional monarchy. With Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visiting for 11 days, now is the time to make that point.

    As former Newfoundland premier and federal cabinet minister Brian Tobin said, it's silly that someone from another country is our head of state.

    We're not a good match anymore, either. England remains a fundamental and inextricable part of our history, but Canada is no longer a British colony. We're a sovereign and multicultural country, and we do things differently."

Sorry Councillor.